Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ayu collected N1 billion; asked other candidates to withdraw for Atiku: Wike

He accused Mr Ayu of masterminding his loss at the PDP primary by reaching out to other contestants to step down for Mr Atiku.

• September 23, 2022
Iyorchia Ayu and Nyesome Wike
Iyorchia Ayu and Nyesome Wike

Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike has alleged that Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), collected N1 billion from a presidential candidate in Lagos and worked for the emergence of presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.

Mr Wike raised a fresh outburst in a media chat broadcasted on Friday. The Rivers governor accused Mr Ayu of obtaining the said amount on grounds that the party’s governors were not prepared to fund the party. 

“Ayu is corrupt. Quote me. I am a lawyer and I am the governor of Rivers State,” Mr Wike alleged. “Can Ayu deny that he did not collect one billion naira from Lagos. He told one of the PDP presidential aspirants before the primaries that the governors were not ready to fund the party.”

Mr Wike said he knows “how the money was arranged and those involved in packaging the money. He collected one billion.” Let him come out to tell Nigerians it is not true and I will reveal more,” the governor threatened.

Mr Wike lost the PDP presidential ticket to former vice president Atiku Abubakar at the party’s primary election in May. He accused Mr Ayu of masterminding the loss by reaching out to other contestants to step down for Mr Atiku.

He insisted that the current structure of the party has been compromised as some leaders have been allocated slots in a government to be formed from an election that is yet to be won.

Mr Wike and his supporters such as Oyo governor Seyi Makinde have been resolute in their call for the ouster of Mr Ayu. They say that would correct the “injustice” meted against the South.

The governor denies that his recent outbursts against the party were out of bitterness from losing the presidential ticket. 

He said his only regrets were that he would not be able to tackle insecurity as he had planned.

“I feel pains for not being given the opportunity to fight bandits, I feel pains for not having the opportunity to fight oil theft,” Mr Wike said.

“If there are two things I promised myself I am going to do is to take insecurity head on and the issues of oil theft that’s affecting our economy as of today,” he added.

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